Bristol Rovers vs Swansea City Preview: Swans step up pre-season preparations

Swansea City face Bristol Rovers in the Welsh side’s first game back after their US tour.

Bristol Rovers vs Swansea City Preview: Swans step up pre-season preparations
Swansea during a water break against Charlotte Independence. (Photo: Swansea City A.F.C.)

Swansea City face their third pre-season opponent, and their first back in the UK following their successful US tour, in Bristol Rovers.

The game kicks off on Saturday at 3PM GMT at the Memorial Stadium, home to Bristol Rovers, who were promoted from League Two last season.

Swansea come into the game having suffered a loss to Richmond Kickers, and a few days prior putting four goals past Charlotte Independence in a comfortable win.

Bristol Rovers have already played six pre-season fixtures, winning four, losing one and drawing their most recent tie against Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Team news

There have been no reported injuries picked up from the American tour, so it seems the squad that travelled to America will be available.

Ashley Williams, Neil Taylor, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lukasz Fabianski and Jefferson Montero are all expected to miss the game after giving extended rest by manager Francesco Guidolin because of their international involvement this summer.

Ki Sung-Yeung may make a return to the side after missing the US tour, due to being called up to complete mandatory service in the South Korean military.

Ki Sung-Yeung may make his return alongside Jack Cork in midfield. (Photo: Getty)
Ki Sung-Yeung may make his return alongside Jack Cork in midfield. (Photo: Getty)

What to look out for

Swansea have been strongly linked with moves for Joe Allen and Nacer Chadli in the past couple of days, so it wouldn’t be a shock if the better performances tomorrow come from the Welsh side’s central midfielders and wingers, trying to prove to Guidolin that additions aren’t needed.

Several youngsters featured in the American tour; Oliver McBurnie, Daniel James, Kenji Gorre and Jay Fulton are among multiple players who impressed and will more than likely see gametime in Bristol too.

Predicted XI

New signing Mark Birighitti may make his debut in goal, but Kristoffer Nordfeldt started both games in America and should start once again. It wouldn’t be a shock if both goalkeepers played 45 minutes each.

At right-back it’s a coin-toss between veteran Angel Rangel and Kyle Naughton, but both are likely to play 45 minutes each. Federico Fernandez and Jordi Amat are likely to start as a partnership and youngster Stephen Kingsley should start on the left side of the defence.

Jack Cork is a shoe-in at the heart of midfield, and next to him could be Leroy Fer or Ki Sung-Yeung, but the former is looking more likely.

Modou Barrow should start on the right flank, as he pushes towards another breakthrough year. Wayne Routledge on the opposite flank and either Gorre or James should operate behind the striker. James has impressed more in pre-season games so one would be inclined to go with him.

Oliver McBurnie made a good impression against Charlotte Independence, scoring a wondergoal at the same time, but Andre Ayew should start up front and could lead the line for Swansea this season. Bafetimbi Gomis looks like he is closing in on a move to Marseille so he shouldn’t feature.